I love K-Mart's new Mother's Day commercial. A little boy is sitting on the potty and hollers, "Mommy! I need you!" before the announcer informs us that mom deserves something special today. I would have to agree. Mothers do the most thankless things. John commented that our kids are completely oblivious to most of the things I have done for them, which is very true. After all, who can remember being potty trained? (And who would want to?) Oh, the joys of motherhood.
I remember when I was a young mother-to-be. I worried about being a mom. Would I do it right? How would I know when he needed new shoes? What would I do when he threw up all over the place? Why didn't babies come with an instruction manual?
And in the way of mothers throughout the ages, I learned the answers. Would I do it right? Yes and No. How would I know when he needed new shoes? You can't squeeze the old ones onto his feet anymore. What do I do when he throws up all over the place? The best you can. Why don't babies come with an instruction manual? I still don't have an answer for that one, but I am very thankful that babies and boobies work well together.
But in their own way, babies are easy. Sure, they cry and poop a lot, but they don't talk back, lose their shoes right before leaving for church, or tell the dinner guests how we cleaned house by cramming everything into mom's room before they arrived.
As my children enter their teenage years, I'm entering a new stage of motherhood and I have a new-found appreciation for all the veteran mothers who have turned out well-adjusted, happy adult children. My prayers have changed; they are no longer, "Oh please let him burp!" but, "Please don't let me mess up my kids too badly!"
Because as children get older, they tend to bring out your worst personality traits at the very worst times. You understand why some animal mothers eat their young. You find yourself saying things you never dreamed you would say: "Only one person on the toilet at a time!" (little boys in particular seem to think it's fun to pee in unison); "Fish do NOT like rootbeer!"; "Babies do NOT eat lettuce!" (Ok, in all fairness, this was said to the child's grandfather, who decided that since the baby kept trying to eat the houseplants, he would just feed him lettuce instead); and the classic, "What were you THINKING???"
As I've cleaned countless bottoms, mopped up myriads of spills and washed innumerable loads of laundry, I've often thought to myself, "I don't get paid enough for this!" It's true. Mothers don't get paid enough for all the things they do, but at least I now know why: It's because motherhood is priceless.
Happy Mother's Day to us all.